The Dance of the Dead
Bone by Bone forms the Skeleton
Santomaso, Giuseppe (1907 Venice 1990). Memento mori. The bone in the ground. Colour lithograph. Inscribed in pencil: 17/100 / Santomaso ’64. 54.5 x 37 cm.
On Rives hand-made paper. – Drystamp ERKER-PRESSE. – Santomaso was founding member of “Fronte Nuovo delle arti”. Connections with Braque, Léger, Morandi. Developing on an abstract Hermetism, here, however, representionally pictorial-fine. Professor at the Academy Venice. Numerous international exhibitions.
Offer no. 14,548 / EUR 930. / export price EUR 884. (c. US$ 979.) + shipping
The Sitting of the Anatomical Department
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). The Reward of Cruelty. The body of the executed monster Tom Nero handed over to the anatomy which itself works perfectly. The full professor personally chairs the taking to pieces, while the sterilization of skulls and bones front left can be left to itself. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculpt. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, Novr. 1st. 1807. Image size 16.8 x 13.8 cm.
The Four Stages of Cruelty IV. – Cook’s smaller version without the 12-lined caption. – Of fine chiaroscuro. – Trimmed within the in its outer part slightly age-marked wide white platemark.
Hogarth’s gorgeously detailed depiction of anatomy :
“ Behold the Villain’s dire disgrace! / Not Death itself can end. / He finds no peaceful Burial-Place; / His breathless Corse, no friend.
Torn from the Root, that wicked Tongue, / Which daily swore and curst! / Those Eyeballs, from their Socket’s wrung; / That glow’d with lawless Lust!
His Heart, expos’d to prying Eyes, / To Pity has co Claim: / But, dreadful from his Bones shall rise, / His Monument of shame. ”
Left and right in wall niches the prepared skeletons of the boxer James Field hanged up already earlier and the highwayman MacLeane resp. The latters – Lichtenberg annotates drily – stand there like bearers of the emblem of the medical faculty on which both are pointing. This coat of arms over the president’s chair serving to the latter’s dignified head just as a crown consists of a hand feeling another the pulse. And indeed in a very graceful way with the small finger. Ireland annotates in this connection that a hand taking a guinea – the ordinary fee for a consultation – would be suited better for the learned faculty. – Together with sheets 1-3 as the complete set. – See the complete description.
Offer no. 14,404 / EUR 390. / export price EUR 371. (c. US$ 411.) + shipping
(Death, The.) While receiving the sacraments the winged death with hourglass and arrow appears to the dying woman. Engraving. (1679.) 3½ × 2½ in (8.8 × 6.2 cm).
Verso: (The Last Judgement.) Earth breaks up and releases the dead, filled with amazement, gratitude, and – expectation. Engraving as before. – Faint tidemark above the image. There and also outside of the image a larger acid-freely repaired tear with loss of some letters of the general text.
Offer no. 13,085 / EUR 35. (c. US$ 39.) + shipping
Buochs (CH), Charnel-House in. Visitor scenery before the skull shelf. Wood engraving for Adolf Closs (1840 Stuttgart 1894; “at his time one of the best of his profession in Germany”, Thieme-Becker). (1875/77.) 16 x 13.8 cm.
BACK: Milker of Buochs. Smoking his pipe at the open window. Wood engraving, supposedly after Charles Hermans (Brussels 1839 – Mentone 1924). 15.5 x 10.8 cm. – On both sides text complete in itself on folklore, especially on the Alpine tradition of the return of the herds.
Offer no. 9,655 / EUR 48. (c. US$ 53.) + shipping
The Collegium Medicum —
as bearers of hope in recession
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Consultation of Physicians (Arms of the Undertakers). The Collegium Medicum or the coat of arms of the undertakers. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculpt. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, Jany. 1st. 1809. Subject size 6¾ × 5⅝ in (17.1 × 14.2 cm).
Cook’s smaller version without the 6-lined caption of this brilliant guild arms with the device Et plurima mortis imago. Representing the last hope of the undertakers in bad times – the physicians. – Trimmed within the wide platemark and especially in its upper margin somewhat time-spotted. – See the complete description.
Offer no. 8,929 / EUR 125. (c. US$ 138.) + shipping
“ The Great Sheet of Dance Macabre ”
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Dance Macabre. Circular chain dance of nine women & skeletons around opened casket with two skeletons within and without the churchyard wall as centerpiece. In addition to it, placed back, chapel & charnel-house (?) along with walls. In the corners the Fall of Man – Golgotha – Eternal life & Purgatory , between two text-cartouches. In the outer field surrounded by 12 medallions together with text-cartouches for the dance of the men, separated by 8 (6 varying) vanitas attributes. Mezzotint by Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784). Inscribed: Ioh. Iacob Ridinger sculps. / Ioh. El. Ridinger excud. Aug. Vindel., otherwise as following. 25¾ × 18⅞ in (65.3 × 48 cm).
Th.-Stillfried + Schwarz 1428. – Illustration in L’Art Macabre 2, Yearbook of the European Dance Macabre Society, Dusseldorf 2001, within the contribution here “The Vanitas Symbolism with Joh. El. Ridinger”.
State II (of II?) as the copy in the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung Munich, too. – The copies Stillfried, Schwarz and that of the sale Counts Faber-Castell (1958 as
“ The great sheet of Dance Macabre / Main sheet ”)
not fixable in their states based on their descriptions. However, the one presented by Patrick Pollefeys on the internet proves to be the earlier, currently suppoesedly first state.
Not in Thienemann and in Dresden, see below, missing in the voluminous stocks of Weigel (1857) , Coppenrath (1889/90) , Wawra (1890) , Helbing (1900) , Rosenthal (1940) , and others more.
Typographic & figurative watermark. – Above and on the right fine small margin almost throughout, on the left and below predominantly trimmed on the platemark here 1.5 cm wide anyhow. – Upper half laid by old onto wide-margined laid paper per corner-montage, one of which loosened, causing a repaired tear. Practically not impeding centerfold.
The very fine copy in respect of printing + condition
of a cultivated collection of nuanced chiaroscuro in all parts. And in such a way
of greatest rarity
not only on the market, as documented above, but in general. And indeed already in 1675 the expert von Sandrart numbered “neat impressions” of the velvety mezzotint at only “50 or 60 (!). After that, however, the image acquires polish soon for it does not go deep into the copper”. Corresponding to that Thienemann in 1856 (pp. VIII + 270) :
“ The mezzotints are almost not to be acquired on the market anymore … all worked by or after Joh. El. Ridinger are so rare that they are to be found almost only in some public splendid collections. I have found most of the described ones only in the famous Dresden printroom … ”
Yet not even there the one in question here made known only in 1876 by Count Stillfried. The quotations there not absolutely correct.
The first of the large-sized 2-sheet set
as the culmination of Ridinger’s vanitates
in actualized repetition of an anonymous leaflet of the late 16th or early 17th century, in any case “before 1623” as the “demonstrably earliest and best known Dance Macabre illustration of this kind in the German-language area”.
The texts of the cartouches each time in Latin + German versions. – In the centerpiece between Golgotha + Eternal life “Christ’s death has ruined death and returned life” + below between Fall of Man + Purgatory “Death and eternal hellish pain has brought about the sin alone”.
The outer field presents clockwise from 1-12 the stations of the social structure of the great hundrum of the end, in the course of which the status symbols lie disrespectfully on the earth. Only the fool has been left cap and bells and the right grips the wand.
“ Papa. / Pope. … The pope’s power not withstanding death. // Imperator. / Emperor. … The head of the world falls to death. // Rex. / King. … The crowned head not spared by death. // Cardinalis. / Cardinal. … The cardinal I take home, too. // Episcopus. / Bishop. … I lead him to the churchyard. // Dux. / Duke. … Maybe gentleman or prince at last a dead man. // Comes. / Count. … Whether count or servant death be in the right. // Nobilis. / Nobleman. … No noble blood is too good for death. // Civis. / Citizen. … No man here has a lasting place. // Rusticus. / Peasant. … The farmer must under death’s foot, too. // Mendicus. / Beggar. / Miles. Soldier. … Soldier, beggar equally have to stand. // Stultus. Fool. / Enfans. Child. … Child and fools together belong to my kingdom. ”
The grand sheet of richest thematic here present for the first time .
See the complete description.
Offer no. 28,933 / price on application
At Play at the Open Grave …
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). The Idle ‘Prentice at Play in the Church Yard, during Divine Service. Tom Idle with shoeshine and two further guys on a coffin besides an open grave. Accordingly forcible the beadle reprimands them their wicked doings. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Design’d by Wm. Hogarth / Plate 3. / Engraved by T. Cook. / Published by T. Cook No. 11 Little Britain, & G. G. & J. Robinsons No. 25 Pater Noster Row, Octr. 1st. 1795. 11¼ × 14⅜ in (28.6 × 36.5 cm).
Industry & Idleness III. – Marvelous impression on buff paper. In its downright luxuriously wide white margin a few weak foxing spots and upper right slight tidemark. Beyond that – contrary to all later Hogarth editions – in the original size. – Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker). – See the complete description.
Offer no. 7,530 / EUR 373. / export price EUR 354. (c. US$ 392.) + shipping
– – – The same in engraving by Ernst Ludwig Riepenhausen (1765 Göttingen 1840, university engraver there). Inscribed: W. Hogarth inv & pinx. / Pl. 3. / Riepenhs. f. 8⅞ × 11 in (22.5 × 28 cm). – On slightly toned minor paper. – Riepenhausen’s engravings after Hogarth (“very estimable”, Nagler) belong to his chief work and are partly even preferred to Hogarth’s own engravings.
Offer no. 5,645 / EUR 76. (c. US$ 84.) + shipping
A Spectacular Discovery
Extremely Rare for Andreani — Unknown to Literature for Ridinger
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Triumph of Death. Engraving + etching after Andrea Andreani (also Andriani, Andreini, Andreasso, Andrea Mantuano; 1558/59 Mantua 1629) based on his chiaroscuro woodcut after Giovanni Fortuna Fortunius (1535 Siena 1611). Inscribed: Joh. El. Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind. Sheet size 22½ × 16 in (57 × 40.6 cm).
Unknown to the respective literature
on Ridinger up to Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik (1975), Niemeyer, Die Vanitas-Symbolik bei Joh. El. Ridinger (in L’Art Macabre, vol. 2, 2001) and the important catalogues of collections, sales, and exhibitions from Weigel (1838) till the present. Thematically though
in its iconographic richness not reached
by the core of his partly extremely rare, but still known Mementi, the mezzotints Thienemann-Stillfried 1426-1431 ( 1428 see above ). And in its composition far from the latter two of these, the brutally realistic ones worked by Johann Jacob after Dieffenbrunner (1430 f.). Here then
the Memento Mori as piece of virtuosity ,
as intellectual challenge combined with an expressive-charming plasticity.
In its size visibly larger
than Andreani’s colour woodcut of 1588 worked in his best period in Siena (20⅛ × 13⅜ in [51.1 × 33.9 cm] image size) of which in countless Old Master catalogues of the last decades just one copy of the 2nd state can be proven here which almost quintupled its estimate correspondingly (1994). As a whole then missing, too, amongst the not identical respective seven Andreanis of the collections Lanna (1895, + 3 variants) + Davidsohn (1920/21).
This extreme rareness of Andreani’s print
( already in 1858 Nagler, Monogramists I, 86: very rare )
imparts Ridinger’s leaf an additionally high evidence .
Andreani’s generally only small œuvre today estimated at c. 70 works (AKL, 1990, and
“ his work is to be valued as historically and art-historically significant today” as Nagler, Monogramists I, 86, recorded already in 1858: “… the extraordinary activity of a man … about whom was often judged too severely since Bartsch … Andreani has to be looked at from a different viewpoint …” and in the same place per 1017: “the famous form cutter” ),
of which a major part falls into the time after 1600 though when he was active in Mantua as dealer and publisher only with him nevertheless putting his monogram on blocks of other artists bought by him. But two works from 1608 and 1610 resp. are considered as original again. Bartsch’s principle stock of 25 plus two uncertain ones not quite up to date in both number and composition. Not affected by this though
the Triumph of Death ,
symbolized by means of an architectural façade. With a death’s head with a snake winding through its mouth mounted plastically in connection with a canopy on the escutcheon as the head piece below an hourglass from which two skeleton arms holding a heavy rock for hurling reach upwards. Below in a rotunda the three Fates. On both sides steeples with caption and differently acting death’s heads below the cross at the top and two also varying skulls at the pedestal. On the square stones below partly carried by two skeletons ITER AD VITAM .
On both sides beyond these skeletons escutcheons hanging down with the inscription BONIS BONA and MALIS MALA resp. To the inner the friends flank a wheel with eight inscribed spokes (on occasion of the Fortunus Nagler speaks of eight beams joining at the hub and communicating with its text), on its upper part on the left Adam and on the right Eve as beautiful mortals. The latter offers, with a wistful look, the infamous apple while caressing suggestively tempting her right breast with her left. Adam, not looking at her, stretches his left to her. The hands of both meet above a death’s head.
This group of the two carnal and skeletonized pairs form in their communication
the scenic event as such .
Both deaths push their bony elbows into the sides of the human couple. Of which Eve does not take notice. Correspondingly head attitude + facial expression of her Goodman:
Oh , these women !
His pendant though talking to Adam man to man. Correspondingly thoughtful this with bowed head, additionally holding the right at his forehead.
Between the spokes of the large wheel the eightfold death. Representing in the upper half the clergy, in the lower half the worldliness. The rotating outer inscription STATVTVM EST OMNIBVS HOMINIBVS SEMEL MORI POST HOC AVTEM IVDICIVM. In the center of the hub SVM, vertas, omnibq idem. Rotating in two lines CORNVA VENTRE GERO, NVMEROS IN VERTICE MILLE, / IN PEDE SERPENTEM, DIC MIHI, SVM QVIS EGO? And heading clockwise towards the hub’s text
Vnde superbi / Vt deo placea / Et ideo studea / Terra est quasi fi / Cum nos Terra si / Mortem vitare nequi / De limo homo pri / Quid est nisi li .
Below the wheel and together above an open coffin with a young woman with a cross in her hands the small head of an older bearded man – an even smaller further one at the head’s end of the casket – , flanked on both sides by two large mourners above which are situated a harp’s head in a glory on the left, an owl on the right.
Before and below the coffin first a large text cloth TRIA SVNT VERE QUAE ME FACIVNT FLERE, flanked by the symbolic winged death, two little skulls at the bottom of the coffin, and clergy and worldly attributes with two closed tomes as connecting parts. Far outside on the pedestals of the two skeletons two standing small deaths, each one holding an oval text plate: MEMENTO MORI + MEMORARE NOVISSIMA . The conclusion formed by a text plate joining the whole with Primum quidem durum, quia scio me moriturum Secundu(m) verò plango, quia moriar, et nescio quando. Tertium autem flebo, quia nescio ubi manebo. The decayed walls by the way interspersed with signs of their transitoriness.
Is Andreani’s so-called “Melancholy”, the woman meditating over a death’s head, qualified as “artistically a chief plate” with the addition “thematically extraordinary”, how much more his “Triumph of Death” taken up here by Ridinger as a
“ Pasticcio of iconographic , iconologic , and artistic quotes ” .
extremely rare for Andreani
(generally Thieme-Becker speak of “the great rareness of the leaves” ) ,
almost unique for Ridinger .
Here then in a fine, not quite contemporary impression on lines-free paper with wordmark watermark and surrounding fine margin around the image’s borderline. Only here and there trimmed closely to it. The certain agemarkedness countered by professional restorative means as the backside (water) spottiness shines only partially quite lightly through to the picture side. In the hatched marginal field lower right written note on the artist only barely visible anymore. Shortly ,
a rarissimum looking for its equals of fine total impression .
Offer no. 29,077 / price on application
… but finally even Death has had his Last Dance
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Tail Piece or The Bathos or manner of Sinking, in Sublime Paintings, inscribed to the Dealers in Dark Pictures. The end of Everything. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). 1798. Inscribed: Designed by W. Hogarth. / Engraved by T. Cook. / Published by G. G. & J. Robinson Pater-noster Row December 1st. 1708. (recte 1808), otherwise as above. 13⅜ × 14½ in (34 × 36.7 cm).
Hogarth catalogue of the Tate Gallery, 1971/72, 222, + Hogarth catalogue Zurich, 1983, 94, both the Hogarth version of 1764 and with ills.; Christoph Wulf, Dying Time, in Anthropology. A Continental Perspective, 2013, p. 133, ill. 5.1 (this copy). – Extensive caption with – besides verses by Tacitus and Maximus Tyrius – important reference to Analysis of Beauty.
“ Rarely an artist has said goodbye to the world that movingly ”
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of Nov. 8, 1997).
It is Hogarth’ last graphic work, seven months before his death. Artistically a recourse to Salvator Rosa the title is based on Pope’s poetical counterpart “Peri Bathous” as itself “a parody of Longinus’ ‘Peri Hypsous’”.
The scenery itself of an unheard of radicalism. Since also and especially those attributes otherwise signaling the ending of the times are affected by the ruin: Scythe and hourglass are broken here as are crown, pipe, palette, bottle, bell, the pub “The Worlds End” with the burning globe as its plate, the church as several other symbols of Vanitas. The clock lost its hands, the trees are as dead as the hanged man – and Phoebus in the burning celestial chariot together with his horses tumbling down to the bottomless abyss.
To crown it all Saturn himself as god of the time – the winged death – as of the wealth founded by agriculture breathes his last “Finis” while his last will – witnessed by the three Fates Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos – slips from his hand: All and every Atom there of to Chaos. Shortly “H. Nature Bankrupt”.
With the exception of the man in the thin crescent of the decreasing moon who still seems to be alive a bit. As also the gallows are standing fast. To increase the bathos a few puns have been mixed in the whole mess: a cobbler’s end and last resp., a rope’s end, and the candle’s end.
Wonderful, only slightly later copy of brilliant chiaroscuro and adequately broad margins and freshness of this fine print by Cook who “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker). As the only one of the posthumous editions he stuck to the original size. – With watermark “1811 W Balston”; cf. the double mark “J Whatman & W Balston 1813” Heawood 117. – In the right far margin two small slight tidemarks. The partial little foxing on the back perceptible quite minimally in just two spots in the heaven’s part. – See the complete description.
Offer no. 7,545 / EUR 291. / export price EUR 276. (c. US$ 306.) + shipping
– – – The same as engraving by Ernst Ludwig Riepenhausen (1765 Göttingen 1840, engraver at the university there and friend of Gottfried August Bürger’s). (1794-1835.) Inscribed: 44 / W. Hogarth inv. / R. d sc f. 8½ × 9¾ in (21.5 × 23.5 cm).
Early impression with distinct plate tone and extremely wide lateral margins. – Also the pure picture only. With respect to the wide lower plate margin it seems the lower margin’s arrangement was intended yet never done. Later the plate was trimmed below accordingly (cf. no. 12,144).
Riepenhausen’s Hogarth edition (“very estimable”, Nagler) is his main work, the plates of which partly are even preferred to Hogarth’s engravings.
Offer no. 7,740 / EUR 125. (c. US$ 138.) + shipping
– – – The same in lithography by C. F. Heintz. (1833-36.) Inscribed: 34. / Das Ende aller Dinge (The End of all Things) / lith. C. F. Heintz, otherwise as above. 8⅛ × 8⅛ in (20.5 × 20.7 cm).
Also the pure picture only, but with extensive caption à la Lichtenberg in German: “… Only one thing held on – The gallows. It seems also the coming world cannot miss it, so it remains upright anyway …” – The really light foxing visible almost only against the light. – All in all good though not evenly tinted impression.
Offer no. 14,087 / EUR 87. (c. US$ 96.) + shipping
- Almost 240 years later, Robert Murray will title chapter XV of The Decline and Fall of the American Empire (2002): The Chaos to come.↩
“ Just received the James Figg item safely today. I have a couple questions. Art in general is new to me so I‘m asking you to educate me on this item … First of all I‘m happy with the item, just trying to understand it better … Thanks again ”
(Mr. A. C., March 27, 2008)